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Summary:

Confirming early reports from last week, Sony just announced a machinima tool for use in PlayStation Home, the virtual world for its PS3 videogame console. Dubbed the “Living Room Stage Set” and selling for $4.99 in the PlayStation Home Mall starting today, it’s basically a virtual […]

Confirming early reports from last week, Sony just announced a machinima tool for use in PlayStation Home, the virtual world for its PS3 videogame console. Dubbed the “Living Room Stage Set” and selling for $4.99 in the PlayStation Home Mall starting today, it’s basically a virtual studio in a box, albeit one missing a key element.

The kit comes with an empty shooting stage that can be dressed as desired, ringed by a lighting system with customizable controls and multiple cameras for viewing the action with different angles and camera shots. There’s a backdrop that can be loaded with pre-set scenery (a beach, a cityscape, etc.) that also functions as a green screen, which you can use to composite your own video footage during the editing process. But here’s the catch: the Stage Set doesn’t come with internal recording tools or an editor.

Hugh Hancock, who helped coin the term “machinima” and wrote a book on the subject, is tentatively interested: “[It seems] pretty comprehensive for a simple machinima tool, the lighting system in particular,” he told me by e-mail. “I’ll definitely be firing up my PS3 and experimenting.” Phil Rice, who created the viral machinima hit “Male Restroom Etiquette“, seemed even more enthused: “I’m not sure machinima has ever had such powerful control over dynamic lighting when combined with such an easy-to-use interface,” he e-mailed me. “That, and the generally very nice-looking graphics engine, seems a big pro.”

On the con side, both were concerned by the Stage Set’s lack of an internal video capture/editing system. Sony’s demo video promises how-to tutorials for that part of the process, but until then, machinima newbies will need to fend for themselves. As Rice put it, “I think insisting on this additional step and hardware purchase greatly reduces their potential participation level, versus a model where movies can be created and shared all within Home.”

Presumably, Sony can address this drawback in later iterations, but that remains to be seen. It would be exciting if the Living Room Stage Set evolved into a full-fledged machinima platform. For now, though, it’s at least a fun kit for would-be machinimators who already own a PlayStation 3.

  1. Overman’s Blog » OverByte #16 Monday, May 11, 2009

    [...] NewTeeVee: Sony Adds Machinima Studio To Playstation 3’s Home – Wagner James Au asked both myself and Hugh Hancock for our first impressions. [...]

  2. Pandora Batteries Sunday, May 31, 2009

    Awesome post, you have answered many questions I have been search for the answer to!

  3. Sony Adds Machinima Studio To Playstation 3 Home Editor Not | home lighting Saturday, June 13, 2009

    [...] Sony Adds Machinima Studio To Playstation 3 Home Editor Not Posted by root 11 minutes ago (http://newteevee.com) Sony adds machinima studio to playstation 3 home editor not included has ever had such powerful control over dynamic lighting when combined with such an easy to use interface he e mailed me powered by sphere if your comment doesn 39 t show up immediately Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Sony Adds Machinima Studio To Playstation 3 Home Editor Not [...]

  4. Giochi Divertenti Sunday, September 6, 2009

    Looks funny, I’ll check it out.
    Ps3 Rulez

  5. photography lighting Saturday, December 12, 2009

    Thanks for this post and quite informative video, lots of great information about the PS3 system’s studio photography lighting setup for stage and photography.

  6. Zarathustra Studios | z-studios.com Monday, April 5, 2010

    [...] NewTeeVee: Sony Adds Machinima Studio To Playstation 3’s Home – Wagner James Au asked both myself and Hugh Hancock for our first impressions. [...]

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